One company had 40 percent of its workers
and 20 percent of its managers
resign during the first year
after reorganization into teams
What might account for this dramatic turnover?
Any dramatic reorganization should be preceded with a great deal of preparation. People do not fare well with extreme, sudden changes, with no notice, whether it be in one's personal or in one's work life. This is a cautionary tale for those who seek to make big changes in the work environment. If changes are discussed and if the stakeholders have some input into the changes, this sort of thing can be avoided. Turnover is quite costly to a company, far more costly than taking the time to effectuate a big change properly.
It is possible that the people did not like working in teams, but it is also possible that they did not like the teams they were put on. That is a huge number of managers, not to mention employees. I'd say a study needs to be done ASAP to determine exactly what is wrong.
I would tend to agree that there were fundamental issues within the business and the business' changes. Based upon the assumption made above, one could only find that something dramatic changed within the company to bring about employee dissatisfaction. Given the high satisfaction, one could only expect the massive loss of employees.
The most likely cause of this is that people did not like the new team system. Perhaps it took them out of the work environment that they were used to. Perhaps it forced them to work with people they didn't like. Perhaps it forced them to do new tasks that were beyond their skills or which they simply did not want to do. Unless there was some other big change in the company, we have to assume that the move to a team structure was not done very well, causing the massive turnover.